With a new name and a slightly expanded platform, the Child Advocacy and Family Law Society (CAFLS) launched in the fall. Formerly known as the Family Law Society, the student organization changed its name to draw attention to the needs of children.
"Largely in the area of family law, children are overlooked and lack passionate advocates," said Rashanda McCollum, CAFLS president. The organization, which was established at Miami Law in 1995, will begin a supply drive for the Ronald McDonald House, which is an essential provider of goods for upwards of 4 million families a year. Starting Monday, October 3, students and faculty can drop off toiletries, canned goods and other non-perishable items at the entrance to the Law School Library. (see supply list)
The drive will last throughout the month of October.
Ivan Ubierna, house manager of the Ronald McDonald House of Miami, said that the recession hit the organization hard. He added that any help is welcome.
"The end result is that they're still struggling," McCollum said. "With all the students here, and all the faculty members, we hope to be able to meet some of their immediate needs."
CAFLS will host another supply drive during the holidays to benefit the Family Court Services of Miami.
On Oct. 19, the organization will host a Domestic Violence panel to provide participants a 360-degree perspective of domestic violence law and structural equality. Panelists will include service providers, attorneys and judges. The event will be moderated by Donna K. Coker, professor of law.
McCollum understands that while the primary goal is to encourage and promote awareness about the critical issues happening in family law, it is equally important to let students know that CAFLS exist.
"There are students interested in family law who just don't know we are here," she said. "We want to make our presence known."